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  • Professor Varinder Kumar Aggarwal
    05/12/20 - 9:45 AM to 11:00 AM

    Gassman Lectureship #2: Professor Varinder Kumar Aggarwal

    Paul G. Gassman Lectureship in Chemistry

Merging Photoredox Chemistry with Boron: New Opportunities in Synthesis

Professor Aggarwal

Varinder Kumar Aggarwal is a professor in synthetic chemistry at the Unversity of Bristol. He earned his doctorate at Cambridge University. After post-doctoral studies at Columbia University in New York, he returned to the United Kingdom as a lecturer at Bath University. He then moved to Sheffield University before joining the faculty at Bristol University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and received its Corday-Morgan and Organic Stereochemistry Award. He also received an Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society.


Professor Aggarwal's research interests include the development of new catalytic processes for asymmetric synthesis; the development of chiral carbenoids and their use and subsequent applications in catalysis and synthesis; the development of new methodology and its applications in synthesis; total synthesis of biologically important targets. He is an expert in a type of molecule called ylides, which are important to the Wittig reaction—a standard tool in organic chemistry. Aggarwal has developed new methods of using chemical reactions to assemble complex, biologically important molecules. His research includes new ways of speeding up, or catalysing, these processes of synthesis. His work has important applications in medicine such as helping to provide a more effective vaccine against tuberculosis.

In honor of Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman

Regents Professor Paul G. Gassman died in April 1993, at the age of 57. He was internationally known in the chemical community, and left behind a legacy of achievement. During his career, he served as mentor and adviser to 85 doctoral and master’s candidates as well as dozens of postdoctoral associates and undergraduate students. Numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees were bestowed in recognition of his contributions to research and his service to the scientific, professional, and university communities. Some of these awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences (1989) and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992); the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1985); Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (1986); and the National Catalyst Award of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (1990). He served as president of the American Chemical Society in 1990. He was co-chair of the organizing committees of the National Organic Symposium (1991) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research meeting (1992), on the University of Minnesota campus. It was his wish that a lectureship be established to bring distinguished organic chemists to the Department of Chemistry. 

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Nicholas Race